Desert Sands Community School principal Colleen Minnabarriet.

Local principal a finalist in Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education

Colleen Minnabarriet of Desert Sands Community School nominated in District Leadership category

An Ashcroft school principal is one of three finalists in the “District Leadership Award” category in this year’s second annual Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education.

Colleen Minnabarriet—principal of Desert Sands Community School in SD 74 Gold Trail—was nominated for the award, along with Lisa McCullough (superintendent, SD 48 Sea to Sky) and Jordan Kleckner (district principal, learning technology, SD 23 Central Okanagan). She is one of 30 education professionals from throughout the province to have been named as a finalist in this year’s event.

Last year, SD 74’s Kim Halayko of Lillooet Secondary School was nominated in, and won, the category of “Diversity and Inclusion”.

READ MORE: Provincial award recognizes excellence in education

Launched in 2018, the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education are an opportunity to recognize the contributions of public, independent, and First Nations school system teachers, principals, vice-principals, school and district leaders, and support staff who go above and beyond. This year, 10 awards will be given, with six honouring teachers, two recognizing school and district leaders, and two honouring support staff members.

The nomination period ran from Jan. 7 to April 30, and 140 nominations were received.

Minnabarriet is described as a visionary and inspirational leader who is fuelled by an interest in collaboration, inclusion, and the best interests of each student.

“She has been a powerful education leader in a time of Truth and Reconciliation, and it has long been her belief that only through understanding and acceptance of history can we begin to offer meaningful gestures of reconciliation.

“To fight the increasing disengagement of secondary students, she supported her school team to launch a new education model that is successfully engaging students in their learning through collaboration and interdisciplinary inquiry, and providing them with agency, voice, choice, and ownership. She also believes in the importance of supporting teachers to implement research-based practices to improve student success.”

The winners of this year’s Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education will be announced at an awards ceremony at Government House in Victoria on Oct. 4, 2019, the day before World Teachers’ Day. Winners will receive a $3,000 personal bursary for professional learning, a $2,000 contribution to their school community for professional learning, and a commemorative work of art, while runners-up will receive a certificate of recognition.

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